Capital Campaigns: Fundraising Strategy for Nonprofits

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Strategic campaign fundraising is typically dependent on the structure of your capital campaign gift pyramid and your understanding of your donors. Once you’ve structured your gift pyramid, and you begin approaching existing and potential donors, it’s important to balance your need to procure gifts with your ability to connect with your donors. But, how do you effectively communicate with existing or potential donors? Here are three fundraising strategies for your nonprofit to use during the campaign fundraising process.

 

Sequential Solicitation

 

The primary fundraising strategy for all nonprofits when carrying out a capital campaign is sequential solicitation. Sequential solicitation is a guide, outlining the order in which you should receive gifts from lead donors to meet your campaign fundraising goal.

 

It’s important to secure your largest gifts first, and then work your way down the gift table, receiving smaller gifts towards the end of your capital campaign. Once you’ve achieved 50 to 70% of your goal (which you should complete during the Silent Phase), you can then make your capital campaign public and receive gifts from the community you’re serving.

 

Although campaign stalls can stem from internal campaign issues, such as an overworked staff, the most common reason is the failure to follow sequential solicitation. This is based on the four axioms of campaign fundraising:

 

  1. The ten largest gifts set the standard for the entire campaign
  2. Not following the top-down structure lowers giving sights across the board
  3. Extended solicitation at lower levels will not offset major gaps in upper ranges
  4. Once the first big gift sequence has been seriously violated, the entire program is in jeopardy

 

Approaching Potential Donors

 

Although the sequential solicitation model is in place, you may be wondering: how does it look in practice? Where do I start? That leads to our next fundraising strategy for nonprofits, which is an extension of sequential solicitation. Typically, there are 5 steps to sequential solicitation to help you approach potential donors:

 

  1. Inquire. First, you want to build a prospect list, or leverage Wealth data, to identify the right people who can provide funding to your campaign. Once you’ve identified potential donors, it’s important to conduct external and internal research to assess each group or individuals capacity and propensity to give.
  2. Plan. Once you’ve identified and researched potential donors, it’s time to figure out how you’ll engage with your donors. Besides outlining your intentions and goal, ask yourself: what aspect of the campaign would appeal to them? Is this appealing enough to gain their commitment?
  3. Cultivate. Now that you’ve considered the ways in which your donor might contribute to your goal, it’s time to probe. By bringing your potential donor closer to your cause, you’re able to show them what you’re doing and what you’re intending to do. In doing so, they may end up committed to your work and want to help.
  4. Procure and Secure. The time has come to explicitly request support and secure the contribution from your donor. If your donor has decided contributed, it’s your responsibility to follow up on the details in receiving the contribution. How much is the proposed donation? When the donation will be mad?; How will it be made?
  5. Express Gratitude. You’ve planned, engaged your donor, and have received your gift. Now what? It’s imperative to acknowledge the importance of your donor’s contribution, and their influence on your work at large. By creating a connection with them, and expressing your appreciation not only for their contribution but of them as an individual or organization, your donor may feel inclined to give later on.

 

Appealing to the Motivations of Donors

 

Our final fundraising strategy for nonprofits is identifying, understanding, and acting upon the motivations of donors. Now that you’ve structured a way to collect gifts, and how you can successfully approach potential donors, it’s important to understand the motivations of your donors. Generally, there are four types of motivations:

 

  1. Philanthropy. Donors with philanthropic motivations want to help change the world.  
  2. Connection. Donors motivated by affinity are those who wish to be connected to a cause that has similar values to their own.
  3. Reciprocity. Donors motivated by mutual benefit seek to help organizations that will, in return, provide them with some advantage.
  4. Social Consciousness. Donors with social motivations don’t simply want to contribute to a cause. They want to be part of a community.

 

By identifying their values, you’re able to create targeted messaging or find other ways to effectively communicate with donors. Not only will this help you with your existing or inherited campaign, but depending on the connection you forge with other groups or individuals, they may feel inclined to support and contribute to future projects of yours.

 

Using Big Data and Fundraising Data Analytics for Marketing

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The evolution and growth of big data is transforming the way we market and connect with donors and prospects. But, what does this data mean for commercial non-profit markets, and how can it be leveraged? Let’s explore how big data and fundraising data analytics is influencing our practices, and how we can navigate through this new space effectively.

What is Big Data?

Ask 10 people, and you may get 10 different answers. Big Data can generally be defined as data from multiple sources, combined in ways to make it informative and actionable. By combining data from disparate sets, patterns and insights emerge, and this actually creates more data! As we recognize patterns and trends in the data, these relationships, not previously a part of the data set, become new bits of data ripe for mining and analysis.

As time goes on, bigger data sets are also generated because information is being collected from social media, smart phones, cameras, satellites, remote sensors and other newly emerging technologies. 90% of the world’s data today has been created in the last 2 years alone. Every day, we create an estimate of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. That’s 2.5 with 17 zeroes behind it! Needless to say, there’s an enormous amount of data that marketers or fundraisers can take advantage of.

What does Big Data mean to the marketer or fundraiser?

 

To the fundraiser or marketer, Big Data is the ability to see each consumer or prospect in a 360-degree view, and to personalize messages and interactions with that individual to create the ultimate purchasing or donating experience. We all know relationships are the key to successful marketing. Making sure that our prospects have the best experience they can have with our organization, whether it is a luxury brand selling luxury goods, or a nonprofit seeking funding for their mission, will improve their results.

One of the key buzzwords in marketing these days is “relevance.” Companies and organizations are generating content and practicing content marketing, but the key to making content marketing work is to be sure that the content we put forth is relevant to the audience we are targeting. That’s where  fundraising data analytics and big data comes in. Knowing your customers’ likes and dislikes; buying and donating behaviors; relationships with others in your universe; and most importantly, their wealth, and buying or investing power, allows you the ability to make your messages truly relevant on an almost individual basis.

How can I harness the power of Big Data?

So, given the high volume of data points generated, and the barriers to accessing and processing all these points, how can marketing or fundraising professionals reap the benefits of Big Data? To leverage fundraising data analytics, and big data, the fundraiser and marketer must:

  • Capture
  • Curate
  • Transform
  • Normalize
  • Parse
  • Combine
  • Analyze
  • Report, and
  • Visualize

These actions and activities would require more resources than most small to mid-sized businesses have on hand. So how can the small shop leverage  big data? How can the mid-sized nonprofit use fundraising data analytics to continue measuring the relationship between investment and fundraising?  How can this data be utilized without investing inordinate resources on data collection, curation, and analysis?

Selecting the right Big Data Partner

The answer is finding the right partner. Choosing the right Big Data partner can make your marketing and fundraising messages resonate with your unique audiences. When you’re shopping for a data partner, consider the following questions:

Does this partner understand wealth?

While behavior is an important element, wealth is the true driver for both purchasing and donating.  Does this partner have experience curating data?  For all of us who have tried to merge two spreadsheets of different sizes, or import data into an existing structured CRM, or transform text into numeric data, we can begin to glean the many challenges of working with huge data sets that require many steps to massage into a meaningful whole.  It’s beneficial to work with a Big Data partner who routinely works with data sets of all types and sizes.

Is the potential partner willing to work with you to select the data you need to append, and to customize a data solution for your needs?

Too much data can be as bad as not enough data.  Make sure you get the right fit by selecting a partner who can assist by understanding your needs and providing a customized solution. It’s equally important that your partner is leveraging resources that allow you create a wealth search and help you understand a potential or existing donor’s capacity to spend, invest, or give.

Does the partner add value?

Data is the foundation for knowledge and insight, but you need a partner with a robust analytics understanding who can add value to your data with ratings and scores, predictive modeling, clustering analysis and other techniques.  Analysis is where the true value of data is derived.

Will the partner work with your data?

Much of your most valuable data resides in your own CRM or DMS.  By combining the data you have with additional Big Data sets, you can extract the most value. Having a partner who can work with both, and who understands your business needs and challenges will reap the best results.

Does the partner have all the data you need?

Shopping piecemeal for data is time consuming and difficult.  So finding one partner who has wealth, demographic, lifestyle, behavioral, and biographic data at the individual and household levels. This can parse, normalize, and combine all your data points, and saving you hours of aggravation.

 

Organizations of any size and any level of data competency can harness the insights of fundraising data analytics with the right partner. If you’d like to learn more about the power of  fundraising data analytics, contact us to speak with one of our experienced consultants.

5 Reasons To Get Your Nonprofit Prepared For #GivingTuesday

If you are a fundraiser, it’s definitely no surprise to you that the time for year-end fundraising is right around the corner. Even if you are close to hitting annual targets, #GivingTuesday is a huge opportunity to boost your efforts and help you exceed your goals.

With #GivingTuesday fast approaching, you can enhance your year-end fundraising by reminding your donors and prospects to participate? But, that begs the question: is #GivingTuesday appropriate for every nonprofit?

For  most nonprofits, if your year-end fundraising could use a boost, then a #GivingTuesday campaign can provide your nonprofit with the lift it needs. So, what are the benefits of participating in #GivingTuesday? There are five primary advantages of involving your nonprofit in #GivingTuesday:

1. Global Presence and Relevance

#GivingTuesday has gone beyond what is referred to as #activism. Everyone from Bill Gates to Reese Witherspoon engages in #GivingTuesday and encourage their followers to give on this day.

The movement has also found a global following through social media. This provides nonprofits with the potential to gain exposure and donors worldwide.

2. Seasonality and Generosity

Overtime, the holiday season has become more and more commercialized. While consumers spend significantly during this time of year, there is also a growing sentiment of generosity among many. #GivingTuesday is strategically placed after Thanksgiving when families have come together, felt grateful for what they have, and realized that not everyone is afforded the same lifestyle and experiences.

At a time like this, when sentiments are high, even small prompts or reminders to make a difference can create a significant impact.

3. Growing Public Conscience and Purpose

It’s true that the holidays are a time of giving and generosity. However, data has also shown that high net-worth individuals, especially millennials and younger generations, are driven by meaning and purpose. They believe in associating with brands that are responsible, and organizations that care about communities and causes.

With this outlook, HNWIs are bound to be aware of #GivingTuesday and its impact. Your nonprofit could leverage their sentiments by providing them with a convenient platform to get involved. Think of it this way, if you are not involved in #GivingTuesday, you may be losing out on individuals who are not only supporters of your cause but who may be likely to donate.

4. Significant and Growing Impact

Besides the sentimental significance of #GivingTuesday, there is no ignoring the financial significance. Last year on #GivingTuesday, nonprofits raised nearly $274 Million across the country. That was a 50% increase compared to 2016.

This year, the day has even greater potential to make a difference to organizations like your nonprofit and the communities and causes you represent.

5. Gateway for New Donors

One doesn’t have to be the ‘philanthropic’ type to participate in #GivingTuesday. The social media-powered movement has been getting the attention of people across the world whether they are usually involved with giving to causes or not.

A #GivingTuesday campaign is a great way for your nonprofit to reach not only new donors but also different types of donors who you wouldn’t normally reach through capital campaigns or  major gift programs. #GivingTuesday is about making small contributions as much as it is about making major gifts. You  have the ability to reach a wider range of prospects who can become recurring donors or long-term supporters of your organization through continued engagement.

We hope you find that these reasons resonate with your organization. There is a compelling case for creating a #GivingTuesday campaign whether it is a month-long omnichannel undertaking or a simple email to remind donors and prospects about this day.

Now that you know whys behind this event, join us for our Webinar on Thursday, November 15 from 1-2 PM ET to learn how you can plan #GivingTuesday promotions. 

How to Increase Recurring Donors: Insights from the 2018 Nonprofit Recurring Giving Benchmark Report

Recurring Donors vs. One-Time Donors

Salesforce and NextAfter recently hosted a webinar to discuss the benefits of growing Recurring Donors and the value they bring to nonprofits over time.

As presented by NextAfter, the 2018 Benchmark Report has revealed that Recurring Donors are worth 5.4% more than One-Time Donors over their lifetime. In fact, in a single year Recurring Donors (RDs) give 42% more than One-Time donors (OTDs) and the longer the measurement period, the greater the gap in donation value between their donations.

Your RDs are most likely those that donate monthly. They can also be referred to as members as their regular contributions are seen as a membership to support your organization and cause.

Despite the monthly nature of these recurring donations, RDs are more likely than One-Time Donors to stay engaged with you beyond their first year. This means you can expect a long-term relationship with them, generating a greater LTV.

At WealthEngine, our solutions can help you find Recurring Donors from among donors and prospects because we understand a person’s capacity to give, as well as propensity and intent. Our Wealth Intelligence is powered not only by wealth data but also by demographics, lifestyle attributes, and affinities. Our comprehensive image of a donor or prospect can show you the causes that they are attached to and the frequency of their contribution to support said causes.

Reasons to increase investment in RD acquisition and conversion

According to NextAfter, LTV is the most important metric in fundraising. Yet, it can often be overshadowed by the value of a single donation.

LTV = amount given x time they keep giving

Even though Recurring Donors generate a greater value for organizations over time, development teams can often end up dedicating fewer resources to them. NextAfter recommends matching acquisition and conversion investment towards RDs to the proportion of value generated by them.

From your perspective as a nonprofit, the long-term relationship with a Recurring Donor makes projections, planning and forecasting more predictable.

Further, more RDs in your database result in greater cost-savings. The longevity of their engagement means that you don’t have to continue to spend on acquisition or conversion as is the case with One-Time Donors.

Additionally, studies have shown that nonprofits benefit the most from donations given in installments (as opposed to upfront payments or donors waiting to accumulate a larger sum to donate later).

From the donor’s perspective, it can be beneficial in two ways. Firstly, frequent giving elongates the satisfaction received from the act. Research has shown that higher value contributions don’t necessarily make for greater satisfaction. Secondly, there has been an overtaking of subscription models similar to models in the commercial world (like Netflix, Zipcar etc.); where regular payments go out in smaller installments and seem less burdensome to the donor.

Hence, it is advantageous for you to leverage this mutually beneficial arrangement. This can be achieved by dedicating the right resources to acquisition and conversion of RDs.

Once you have identified patterns of characteristics from among existing, Recurring Donors, you can put this information to use to find more members that are likely to develop a long-term engagement with your organization. Our Look-Alike tool can help you expand your base or Recurring Donors. WE Analyze can help you examine your current database to identify patterns of traits. These can then be used to find new Recurring Donors that resemble your current donor base through our Look-Alike solution.

Techniques to acquire or convert donors and prospects into RDs

Continued engagement with your organization and cause is the primary reason for a Recurring Donor to stay. The Benchmark Report has found that 38% of nonprofits have the same strategy for RDs and OTDs. We have already made a case for having a dedicated strategy and dedicated resources for RDs. You can also benefit from having a separate value proposition for Recurring Donors.

The report showed that the most effective CTA button just says “donate” (as opposed to support, learn more, etc.) This needs to be coupled with a strong value proposition. For instance, RDs should be able to understand how their regular contributions impact the cause in a way that is different or better than One-Time donations.

Apart from universal best practices such an optimized and short form on your donation page, accepting several forms of payment (in addition to credit cards) and leveraging multiple channels to communicate your message; you can also make sure that you leverage the momentum of a donation to convert a donor into an RD. The report says that aggressive reminders to sign up for a membership with your organization actually works even though it may seem counterintuitive. The cognitive momentum of the donor can push them to continue donating to your cause.

Ensure that communications sent to RDs is different from ones that you send to OTDs.

Messaging should be more focused on cultivation rather than solicitation.

We have examined how WealthEngine solutions can help you find Recurring Donors. Additionally, we can help you keep existing donors engaged and help convert them in real-time through our API. Our API allows you to feature effective on the spot messaging when a current donor engages with your channel. What’s more, the API seamlessly integrates with Salesforce giving you the opportunity to work on your RD cultivation strategy without requiring heavy investments in technical infrastructure.

If your organization currently uses Salesforce, catch a recap of our Webinar to learn how our connector app can benefit you.

If you have more questions, find us at Dreamforce to talk to a representative!

Leverage Storytelling to Boost Year-End Fundraising

Are you a fundraiser for a cause or advocacy group that supports human rights, animal rights, or sustainability? Then you know that year-end giving can be crucial to your fundraising success.

Over a quarter of nonprofits studied by NonProfit Hub reported that 26-50% of their fundraising success can be attributed to year-end giving. A majority of nonprofits begin planning in October to execute year-end asks and marketing in November. Now is the time to get a head start on year-end activities and kick your 2019 plans into high-gear starting right now!

Getting started can definitely be a challenge. Several organizations struggle with understanding the right way to communicate their year-end ask. Once you have identified your donor or prospect list with the highest potential, it is important to communicate with them effectively.

Most nonprofits send two touches at the most during this season in order to avoid overwhelming their prospects. While this frequency may be enough to get their attention, you have to ensure that your message does not get lost in the clutter.

Employing story telling tactics can be a more effective way to get your message across and cut through the clutter.

Let us examine why storytelling can be better for year-end communication

  1. Emotional Appeal– It all comes down to logic vs. emotion. An emotional appeal is more likely to be memorable. Prospects are surrounded by logic and it is easy for them to rationalize their way out of making a year-end contribution. Evoking an emotion makes them feel more compelled to make a difference to the community or animals being affected.
  2. Empathy– A story has the power to humanize your cause. Stories about animal rescue, preservation, or community upliftment have the ability to generate empathy in your prospects. They can find themselves relating to your story, making your year-end ask much stronger.
  3. Narrative Form– A story has dips and curves, a before and an after making it gripping for its readers or listeners. If you have a strong opening, you are more likely to keep your prospect engaged during your communication.
  4. Imagery– Words can create strong mental images, better yet they can be supported by actual images of the cause. Imagery makes for a more visual appeal and visuals make messages more memorable, therefore creating a lasting impact.

Now that we understand the ‘whys’ of storytelling for fundraising, we need to understand the ways in which we can ensure that your communication makes the lasting impact that can resonate with a donor even after he or she has engaged with your message.

Let’s examine how to optimize storytelling to boost your year-end fundraising

People tend to be more emotional around the holidays. This means that they are also more likely to feel generous during this season. The following ways will help ensure that your communication appeals to their spirit of generosity in the right manner.

  1. Communities- First and foremost, focus on the communities impacted. If your sustainability efforts have impacted the health of a particular community, if your organization has provided a platform or voice for a marginalized group of people, or if your impact has changed the lives of animals for the better; tell the story from their perspective.
  2. Authenticity- Use real images in your stories, be authentic. Use a voice that fits with your organization and its vision. Stock images or facts and figures have a way of taking away from the impact of your story.
  3. Testimonials- Take narratives from impacted communities to the next level by including actual testimonials from community members. Tell their stories in a way that showcases their lives before and after the impact of donations. Testimonials can add to the authenticity of your message. Using video can be especially powerful here as it can increase the level of engagement with the storyteller.
  4. Work in Progress- Even if you have projects that are still in process, share this with your prospects. Show them how far you have come, how much of a difference you have made. Include them in your plans, this is a great way to make an appeal. This provides a platform for you to show your prospects how their donations can help you get closer to your goal. Work in progress can create a sense of urgency in your prospects, especially when you tie your goals to end-of-year deadlines.
  5. Find a Hero- Telling the story from the perspective of impacted communities can be very strong. However, another technique for year-end asks is making your prospect the hero of the story. This can be used to show past donors the impact of their contributions and the potential difference that a future donation could make. Showcasing them as a central figure can prove to be inspirational. Donors gain great satisfaction from acknowledgment, this can be heightened during the holiday season, making them a hero and acknowledging their impact can help crystallize your message in an extremely effective way.

We hope these reasons for leveraging storytelling and our best practice tips help boost your Year-End Fundraising.

To learn more about how we can help you find your top prospects and the stories that will deliver the most impact on them, contact us today!

Healthcare Fundraising: Boost Grateful Patient Programs with the P2G Score

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Grateful Patient Programs

Healthcare fundraising success often relies upon running efficient Grateful Patient Programs. Our Director of Enterprise Sales, Dawn Galasso, often counsels WealthEngine clients and prospects in this sector on boosting their Grateful Patient Programs.

We interviewed Dawn to understand how Wealth Intelligence can empower healthcare fundraising. She recounted her experience with a large Midwestern Health System. This organization was already using wealth screening as a fundraising solution. However, the service failed to identify a significant number of patients in their system as capable of giving major gifts.

Continue reading “Healthcare Fundraising: Boost Grateful Patient Programs with the P2G Score”

After Giving Tuesday Has Come and Gone

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Giving Tuesday (or your Local Giving Day) has come and gone. While your “heavy lifting” is done and you’ve raised some money, what can you do to leverage these efforts? 

WealthEngine can help. WE have put together a great resource to help you in the wake of Giving Tuesday.

Download our free tip sheet, After Giving Tuesday Checklist, and get started on maximizing your year end fundraising efforts. 

Giving Tuesday Tips: Thinking outside the box

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Giving Tuesday. Colorado Gives Day. One Island Giving Day.  Arizona Gives Day. New York Gives Day. Illinois Day of Giving. Giving to the Max Day. All – and there are many more —  are founded with a single goal of bringing awareness to the importance of philanthropy and giving back to the local community.

The Giving Tuesday idea is simple, piggybacking on the post-Thanksgiving sales cycle of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”. The other state-wide giving days simply pick a date – ranging from sometime in October to early December – and are generally championed by a community foundation which provides an online portal and often, an incentive fund.

So what can you do to make the most of this? After all, many nonprofits rely on year-end giving for a large portion of their philanthropic budget. 

Some simple ideas:

  1.  Plan ahead. It’s just about impossible to mount a successful giving day effort without beginning to plan as early as spring or early summer. 
  2. Pick a financial goal. Do you want to raise $10,000 or $50,000? More?? Make sure the goal is feasible and not pulled out of thin air.
  3. Create a communications plan using all possible channels: your newsletter, social media, your website, your blog and email blasts.
  4. Do you have an online giving portal on your website? It’s essential.
  5. Segment your donors and prospects by their P2G score (lower is better) and giving history.
  6. Make it personal. Engage your board and other key volunteers to send the message to their friends and colleagues.
  7. Plan a live event and on the day, tweet out your results as they come in. Make sure it’s fun and festive. If you can get one of your corporate donors to help underwrite it or if you can secure donations of food and drinks, so much the better.
  8. Be thankful. Show your gratitude using all your communication channels and share your results. Consider a simple You Tube-type video communicating the thanks of your team and those you serve.
  9. Steward your donors, new and old. Be sure to get all gift acknowledgement forms out within 48 hours. Set aside an entire day to do so and make it a team effort.

For more tips, as well as some planning guides, visit your sponsoring community foundation’s website, https://www.givingtuesday.org/organizations#block–the-complete-toolkit , www.razoo.com/givingdays and http://givingdayplaybook.org/planning — a service of the Knight Foundation

Turn Your Event Participants into Donors

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As summer draws to an end and we prepare for fall, we are about to enter the season of “-Thons”.  Hosting a fundraising walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon, dance-a-thon, swim-a-thon, read-a-thon or other fundraising –thon can be a great way to build support for your cause, identify new prospects, build a relationship with new donors, and build your base of support. Whether you work for a charity, hospital, university, theater or advocacy organization, now is the time for development offices to create a plan for how to turn event participants into donors. Turning event participants into donors can be easily done, but requires careful communication and a moves management strategy.

Here are five steps to consider when planning your event to find new event participants, identify fresh prospects, and maximize your relationship with existing event participants:

1. Promote your event via social media to find new participants.

Don’t put on the same event for the same participants who are donating year after year! Find new constituents to invite using social media. By casting a wide net you will find prospects who are interested in your cause or activity and, with the proper follow through, they can be turned into donors.

Publicize your event on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Be sure to include a call to action with every post, either a way to request more information or to register directly on your website.

Have your loyal supporters and advocates publicize your event for you to ensure it is being viewed by as many eyes as possible. By asking existing event supporters and past participants to share the event via their own social networks, they are giving your event a credible voice by publicly showing their support and also finding you new participants (and new potential donors!).

2.) Build out your invitation list and find new high potential prospects to participate.

As you build out your event invitation list, consider ways to expand your universe to include more high potential prospects. Be sure to leverage board relationships, and consider tools that will inform you of who in your board’s circle of friends might participate, as you work to strategically develop this list.  Consider new avenues to pursue as you market the event broadly, such as local interest groups and clubs.

Questions to ask yourself might include:

  • How do I find new constituents with high giving potential that might be interested in my event?
  • Which are the most capable prospects to invite to our event?
  • Who do our board and other VIPs know that may respond to a personal invitation to our event and who should ask for their participation?

3.) Screen event participants before and after your event.

It is important to review your event participant list both before and after your event. This ensures that you know the financial capacity of participants and that no wealthy prospects slip through the cracks.

As you get to know your list inside and out and identify the participants with the highest giving potential, develop a plan for your high potential prospects. Consider inviting them to pre- or post- event VIP activities, such as breakfasts or post-event celebrations. If the idea of planning an event around your event is too much for you, consider sending invitations for meetings or “grabbing coffee” a week or two after the event itself. Personal follow through with each high–potential prospect is a must to create ongoing engagement and to understand the individuals’ motivations and interests.

4.) Use metrics as you wrap up your event for the year.

Applying analytics to your event list for both segmentation and tracking is crucial as you wrap up the event and before you move on to your next big challenge – the ask. Metrics to consider include:

  • Event Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Cost to Raise a Dollar (CRD)
  • Cost per person for event
  • # of gifts received from event
  • % of giving from event
  • Dollars contributed from event
  • Average event gift size
  • Event cost

Be sure to segment your event list to determine who needs immediate follow up, based on his/her wealth profile. Follow steps in our Growing Individual Gifts workbook for best practices on how to set up a meeting to build a relationship with potential donors. Strike while the iron is hot to stay in touch and build a relationship.

5.) Once you know enough, make the ask!

Before asking your prospect for a substantial gift, there are a few questions you want to be sure are already answered:

  • What is this donor’s interest or passion and where does it align with our mission?
  • What is the project they will be most interested in funding?
  • What is the correct ask amount for this donor? This should be in harmony with the project or need you are seeking funding for, as well as the donor’s capacity to give.
  • Who should be involved in the solicitation? The president or CEO? A board member? A friend or colleague?
  • Is this the right time to ask? Should we wait until after the recession is over? After their pledge to the [insert charity] building fund is over? After their children are out of college?
  • Who else may be involved in the decision to give? A spouse? Other family members? Financial or tax advisors?
  • How does s/he want to be recognized for a gift? Knowing their stewardship desires before asking for the gift ensures you handle any gift negotiations appropriately, and also that you accomplish post-giving appreciation and recognition in the most meaningful way for the donor(s).

When you know the answers to these questions in advance, you will be making a solicitation that is hard to say no to.

For more information on growing your development program, download Growing Individual Gifts: An Analytical Approach to Data-Driven Success

Consider the Whole Prospect Picture: Going Beyond P2G and Estimated Giving Capacity

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When conducting research on your prospects it’s important to work efficiently to identify who best to cultivate. If you’re using WealthEngine you more than likely use our Propensity to Give (P2G) score and Estimated Giving Capacity (EGC) to help segment and prioritize your donors and prospects. That’s fantastic! And we absolutely encourage you to use these. 

But there are many other scores and data within the prospect profile that can further enhance your knowledge of the individual. If you aren’t making use of these additional scores, you may be missing out on valuable information about your prospect.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of WealthEngine scores you should also be utilizing.

Cash on Hand:
This modeled score predicts the amount of available funds that are readily accessible for the household; such as checking, savings, and money market accounts. This score can also be used as a proxy for discretionary income.

If your fundraising program is in need of immediate funding for a particular project or initiative, your prospects with higher Cash on Hand range may be some of your best targets.

It can also be helpful when in a gift conversation with a prospect who has not yet made a major gift. For example, you know that their EGC is $1M-$4.9M, but their Cash on Hand is $50K-$99K. Iit may be more realistic to make an initial ask for $50K and build the relationship further from there.

Influence:
This score identifies an individual’s influence in the community based on how many boards (corporate or philanthropic) they are affiliated with. This is done on a scale of 1 to 4, corresponding with quartiles.

Your prospects with a high influence score of 1 or 2 are individuals who are engaged with a larger group of constituents in your community and likely have more corporate and philanthropic connections. This could be helpful if, for example, you wanted to look for some new potential board or committee members. This score could enable you to select and target more dynamic board members who are well-connected.

GuideStar Foundations-High/Medium Quality of Match:
Individuals who serve on boards of private foundations are a somewhat elite group of individuals. Whether it is their own family foundation, or they have been invited to serve on the board of a private or corporate foundation, both are equally significant in displaying that individual’s commitment to philanthropy.

GuideStar Directors-High/Medium Quality of Match:
Delving into the types of organizations where your prospects serve on boards can you give a keen insight in to the causes and charities that they are most passionate about. They have agreed to give their time to serve on a board of this organization, hence, likely displaying a deep commitment to this type of cause and mission.

WE want you to be successful in your fundraising and provide you with detailed profiles so you have a complete picture of your donors and prospects. With our wide range of ratings and scores we give you a sense of not just an individual’s propensity and capacity, but also their financial position, potential influence, and philanthropic interests. Remember to dig deeper into your profiles to learn more about your prospects, which will likely in turn, provide greater returns!

For further information on segmenting and prioritizing donors and prospects view our webinar Best Practices in Prospect Management for Year-End Fundraising Efforts.